“What do you think?” Bianca said, twirling around with her arms open with a huge smile.
“Wait… Don’t talk… to me now… or you’ll see… my breakfast…” Eliza tried to stand, but her wobbly legs wouldn’t allow her. Giving up, she stayed on the ground and concentrated on keeping the contents of her stomach inside. “You really didn’t buy your license?” she shot at Bianca, glaring at the redhead.
“You already asked that!” The girl pouted, but there was a smile when she pulled her wallet and waved her temporary driver’s license with pride. “I might have pulled some strings, but I did pass the test! Take a look at my license!”
Still on the ground, Eliza stated at the smiling redhead, her heart still beating wildly from the car trip. She liked that smile, but right now, it pissed her. Without warning, she grabbed the license, turned it around a few times and then held it against the sun.
“It’s real alright… but after that seeing you driving, it makes me wonder if you really passed the driving test or simply didn’t pull some strings again.”
“Stop that! You make it sound like I drive like a maniac. It wasn’t even that scary,” Bianca complained, but she never met Eliza’s eyes.
“It wasn’t that scary?” she repeated the words slowly. The urge to scream her frustrations gave the girl strength. “Not only you drove like you were trying to get your mother out of the gallows, you were sewing the cars like we were on a bike! But the worst was when you tried to pass that truck. I thought my heart would stop working!”
Bianca watched her with a blank expression. Then, as Eliza recovered her breath, the redhead smiled and waved her hand to dismiss the complaints. “We got here safe and sound and in time to enjoy the rest of the day. You should be thanking me and not worrying about those details.”
“My life isn’t a detail,” Eliza muttered under her breath.
“Then next time you’ll drive.”
“I already told you I don’t have the money for that.”
“That’s right… I forgot you spent what was left of your money on that,” Bianca said, eying the trunk of the car. “You even made us stop to buy it… it was because of the time you wasted choosing that I had to drive like that.”
“Don’t put the blame on me. And I’m not having this discussion again. We need firework for Saint John.”
“I can’t believe you like this holiday this much.” Bianca shaking her head, but made no effort to hide her smile. “More important than that, what do you think?”
“Hey, I’m not done complaining…” Eliza lost words when she saw what Bianca wanted to show. “Holy shit… It’s huge… You told me it was huge, but this is more like a beach mansion. I knew your family had money, but this is absurd.”
“That’s the reaction I wanted!” The redhead showed a huge smile as she offered a hand to Eliza. The girl accepted it but even after she stood up, she didn’t let go of Bianca’s hand. “And by the way, it’s my grandpa’s. He’s the one with real money in the family.”
“Our definitions of money are different.” Eliza looked around, admiring the house. “My grandpa has a beach house too. Probably a fourth the size of this one, but it was fun going on summer vacation with all my cousins.”
“Sounds fun… spending the summer with you,” Bianca muttered the last part, the sly smile on her lips.
“Kinda.” Eliza made no comment on the last part, but as she recalled her childhood, there was a smile forcing itself on her. “It was fun playing with everyone at the beach and the pool. But try sleeping with 10 kids in a tiny bedroom. I used to wake up with a toe up my nose. And when the first of us woke, the rest awoke too, stepping on the rest of us on the way out. And it was hell when the air conditioning broke.” Eliza shook her head to stop the memories. Bianca, on the other hand, laughed. “We played from morning until sunset and only came back to the house to eat.”
“Ah, I’m so jealous. I didn’t have that growing up.”
“You’re not gonna make me feel sorry for the rich girl who didn’t have her cousins poking her when she forgot to put on sunscreen.”
“When you forgot? You make it sound that it happened often.” Bianca raised an eyebrow. When Eliza averted her eyes without answering, the redhead laughed, hugged and kissed the girl on the cheek. “I’d never do that to you. But I’d like to poke you somewhere else.”
“Yeah, yeah. I’d would poke you too,” Eliz said without reacting to Bianca’s teasing. But under that nonchalant expression, she had trouble hiding her smile. Then she realized the house was empty. “Hey, when is your family getting here?”
“Huh? My family?” Bianca looked at her with a puzzled expression. “Why would they come?”
“Didn’t you invite me to spend the holiday with your family at your beach mansion?”
Bianca’s expression changed into the sly smile. “No, I invited you to come with me to my family’s beach house. I never said anything about my family. It’s just the two of us the whole weekend.”
“You tricked me!” Just the two of us the whole holiday? I don’t think I’ll be able to hold myself, Eliza was aware of that and as she blushed, Bianca’s smile only grew. She knew I’d react like this! “If I knew you’re planning something like this, I’d have invited you to come with my family to Caruaru,” she said to take the attention away from herself. Besides, I wanted to see her in pigtails and in a flannel dress… and dance with her, Eliza thought, but never voiced it.
“As happy as I’d be for you finally introducing me to the rest of your family, I’d rather celebrate by spending the holiday with you alone.” Bianca flashed her smile full of meaning.
“You missed almost a month of school and yet you managed to escape most remedial classes. Even your parents were thrilled with your results.” Bianca showed a genuine smile.
“All thanks to you,” she mumbled, averting her eyes. It’s rare for her not to be proud of herself, Eliza thought. Especially when she actually deserves the praises.
Bianca beamed and hugged her again. “Even though it’s because you worked hard, I’m so happy you acknowledged my help.”
“Hey, what kind of friend do you think I am?”
“A dense one that ignores my flirting,” Bianca complained and pouted. As Eliza patted her on the head, the redhead smiled. The next second, she pulled Eliza by the hand. “Come on. I know you don’t need to, but take a look at this view. Even I think you’ll be amazed.”
Eliza let Bianca dragged her through the house, a smile of her own for seeing the forever-teasing redhead acting like a kid on Christmas. They left their bags in the living room and Bianca led them to the double door at the back. She grabbed the handle and turned back.
“Are you ready?” she asked, almost as if presenting a show. Then she opened it. The house was right next to the beach there was nothing between it and the sea. “Look!”
“Wow… It’s… wow…It’s the first time I see the sea like this.” The girl didn’t need her powers to see the blue waters extending as far as she could see. She couldn’t stop smiling as she raced to the handrail, trying to take it all. With her curiosity at its peak, Eliza focused her eyes. Before she realized it, she grabbed Bianca’s arm and pointed to the middle of the sea. “It’s amazing! There’s a shoal of colorful fish swimming around a shark a few kilometers from here. Hahaha. It’s like the shark’s being bullied by the fish! Holy shit! There’s a fish pushing sand on another’s house! Wow, there’s a huge jellyfish! It’s like five meters wide! I never knew the sea was so amazing. I wished you could see.”
“I’m happy if you’re happy.” Bianca rested her head on Eliza’s shoulder. “It’s the first time I see you looking like this,” she whispered.
Eliza blinked and her eyes came back to normal. She opened her mouth, blushed a bit and then smile. “Thanks for bringing me here. It’s been months since I’ve been at peace with myself like this. Actually… I don’t think I ever felt like this… until I met you,” she mumbled and looked away. “And yes, it’s all thanks to you. So I’ll let you brag today. Go on.”
“I don’t need that. Being by your side is enough.” Bianca smiled and looked into Eliza’s eyes.
Damn it… How can she go from hot to freaking cute like this? My heart won’t resist beyond today!
“Come on. It’s a waste not enjoy these waters.”
“Y-yeah… I-I agree with that,” Eliza said, glad Bianca had changed the topic; her heart was already racing.
The girl picked up her bag and went after Bianca. The redhead led her to one of the bedrooms on the ground floor, but when she opened the door, Eliza hesitated to enter. “Hey, Bianca?” she asked and the other girl turned to her as she placed her bag on the corner. “How many bedrooms does this house have?”
“I think eight or so. Why?” The redhead had a puzzled look on her face.
Is she serious? Eliza did her best to keep her voice from breaking. “You mean, out of eight bedrooms, we’re gonna sleep here?”
“Yeah. This is my bedroom. Why?”
“Never mind,” Eliza said in the most normal voice she could, hoping Bianca wouldn’t realize. But as the redhead looked around, her eyes stopped at the single couples size bed and a sly smile appeared on her lips. Ah, damn… she noticed…
“You don’t have to worry, I don’t kick in my sleep. But I might kiss,” she said, staring Eliza in the eyes. “Are you afraid of what I might do to you?”
“I trust you.” More like I’m I don’t think I’ll be able to control myself, she thought, finally entering the room. Besides, you’re too coward to try anything. Actually, scratch that. Despite all your flirting, you’re too gentle to do anything that might frighten me.
Eliza had a gentle smile as she put her bag on top of the dresser and opened it, looking through her clothes. When she finally found her swimsuit, she stopped and turned around when something caught her attention on the corner of her eyes.
Bianca was naked as she searched through her bag. “Ah, found it,” she said, pulling her bikini. When she noticed Eliza’s eyes on her, she smiled and stopped dressing midway. “Are you staring me by any chance?”
“Why are you changing in the middle of the room? There’s a bathroom right there!” Eliza flushed and blurted out the first thing that came to her mind.
“What’s the matter? We’re both girls, so there’s no need to be this nervous.” Bianca’s smile widened and she came closer to Eliza, her bare breast almost touching the girl. “Or is this making your heart race?”
Yes, it is! And I’m nervous because I know what you wanna do with me, she thought, pulling her swimsuit and going to the bathroom under Bianca’s laugh. Thank god I’m the one with a power. If she had the power to read minds…
Eliza shook her head and tried to take the picture of Bianca’s beautiful body off her mind as she undressed. With her eyes fixed on the door, she activated her powers and stared the redhead organize put her bag next to Eliza’s.
I like you too, Bianca. You have no idea how much. But two people dating is complicated. I wanted to stay friends for a little longer, she thought, putting on her swimsuit. You have no idea how many firsts I wanna share with you… but I really like our friendship the way it is right now. I wished I had the courage to thank you for coming into my life. I never thought I’d be able to enjoy the sea like this a few months ago if not for you. I’m here thanks to you…
“Are you done changing?” Bianca asked. “Come on, let’s enjoy the sea while the sun’s still up.”
Eliza opened the door to see a smiling Bianca offering one hand and holding the sunscreen in the other. The girl couldn’t help but blush and smile at the sight, and when she accepted the hand, it was enough to make her heart pound harder. Ah… I don’t just like her… I’m in love with her, she realized.
The blue waters and the white sand went as Eliza’s normal sight could see. The wet sand filling the space between her toes felt ticklish, cool and pleasant. The salty air filled her nostrils and brought back old memories along with a smile. She knew it was silly, but the kid in her was stronger. The girl took some wet sand, made a ball as hard as she could and threw it into the ocean with all her strength.
“Yes!” Eliza turned to a surprised and mute Bianca and showed a smile full of pride. “I still got it.”
“What was that for?” Bianca asked, her surprise giving in to a laugh.
“A few years ago that mud ball would probably be aimed at you, you know?” That didn’t settle the redhead’s confusion, which only made Eliza’s smile broaden. “My cousins and I used to settle things that way. Not to brag, but—”
“Already bragging,” Bianca muttered under her breath.
“—I had a great aim. My mud ball always hit what I wanted,” Eliza went on as if not interrupted. “You have no idea how much satisfying was to hit him with a heavy ball of mud on his face.”
“I knew you put up this fake cool and detached aura, but to think you were such a tomboy…”
“I don’t wanna hear that from you. Not from you, Bianca, the girl who goes around fighting in dark alleys.”
“Nah, I love discovering this new side of you.” Bianca’s genuine smile caught Eliza off guard. “I’m gonna fall more and more in love you with.”
“Yeah… well, mom hated that side of me,” Eliza went on, trying to hide her red cheeks. “She was so mad when I broke his tooth during one of our mud fights.”
“And here I thought I was the one who liked fights in this relationship.”
“It wasn’t my fault. His tooth was already loose… ish… Let’s just say I gave time a tiny help. Mom was so mad she didn’t believe my perfectly good reason.”
“That cousin was the one who used to slap me when I got sunburned.”
“Scary. I never want to get on your bad side,” Bianca said, hugging herself and pretending to be afraid.
“That coming from you sounds too fake,” Eliza said, laughing. “But if you ever met my cousin, you’ll want to hit a mud ball on his face too.”
“If I ever meet your cousin, I’ll slap him for all he did to you. Actually, I’m surprised you didn’t hit him back.”
“I did some of that too.” The memories flooded back with a smile. “Oh man, it’s been ages since we all got together like that… I think the last time we all got together was to celebrate grandpa’s birthday… but that was before the rehab… Guess it’s harder for everyone to gather after that…” The happiness left her little by little, her smile disappearing as she lowered her eyes.
“Hey, stop that.” Bianca placed both hands on Eliza’s head and forced the girl to look into her eyes. “What’s done is done. You can’t keep mulling over what you can’t change. All you can do is learn with your mistakes and try your best to fix them. Just like you’re doing already.” Then she wrapped her arms tight around Eliza.
“You’re too good for me. You always… well, almost always knows the right thing to say.” The girl hugged Bianca bag. “As thanks for helping me with Amanda, I’ll allow you to brag. Go on.”
“Well. I do appreciate your gesture, but I can’t take all the credit. You did something too,” the redhead said, her voice inflating with fake pride and sarcasm. “I mean, it was thanks to my little push.”
“Literally,” she muttered and they both laughed. I’ll let her off today. It is thanks to her that I’m talking with Amanda again after all, Eliza thought.
After the exams week was finally over, Bianca and Eliza went back to hang out as usual. But one day after the classes ended, the redhead noticed there was something bothering Eliza. The girl’s own surprise, she didn’t think twice about telling Bianca she was trying to think of a way to apologize to Amanda.
“But I can’t just call her and say that out of the blue, can I? I mean, I can’t just say sorry for what I did… can I?”
At first Eliza believed she told Bianca more to get the frustration out of her than expecting any real help. But then she found herself waiting for the redhead’s opinion. I’m starting to rely on her more than I’d ever tell her…
“What? Is that all? And here I was thinking it was something about me.” Bianca seemed let down for a moment, but the next second, she showed Eliza a gentle smile. “There’s no need to do anything big. You two can’t go back to being friends the way it was right away, so don’t over overthink nor put so much pressure. What you need right now is a humble gesture. A simple I’m sorry,” the redhead said, unusually serious.
“You talk like it’s easy doing that,” Eliza mumbled and looked away. She’s right, the girl knew, but refused to admit. Do I have the courage to say that to Amanda?
“It is easy. All you need is to open your mouth and say the words. Ah, and some courage, which, apparently, you lack.” Eliza gulped and narrowed her eyes with those words. “I’d tease you for that reaction, but I’ll leave that to later. As I said, you’re putting too much expectations. Apologize is only the first step to repair your friendship.”
“You’re… right,” Eliza forced herself to admit, turning her head away from the girl to avoid her eyes. “But still…”
“You’re afraid of taking the next step… As usual…” Bianca sighed exaggeratedly, poking Eliza. When the girl looked back, the redhead was looking beyond her with a sly smile. “Since you won’t listen to me, I’ll show you,” she said, and pushed Eliza the next instant.
The girl lost her balance and tried to grab Bianca’s arm, but the redhead was too fast and moved backward. She fell and hit someone. After apologizing to whoever it was, Eliza looked up to see Amanda. Under an awkward silence, she helped her childhood friend picking up her books. They looked at each other and then Eliza mustered all her courage to say sorry for what she did before running after Bianca. Despite hiding in the bathroom, she had no trouble finding the redhead with her powers.
After that, Eliza found it easier to pick up her phone and call Amanda to say sorry again.
“We did start talking again, thanks to you. It’s not like our friendship’s the same as before, but still…”
“Yay.” Bianca’s face beamed with the smile as she jumped to hug Eliza. “Now you love me, right?”
“Yeah, yeah, I do,” she said, patting the redhead on the head.
“You know that’s not the reward I want,” Bianca complained, but still seemed happy.
“Fine.” With a sly smile of her own, a blushing Eliza leaned closer and kissed Bianca on the cheek. The redhead widened her eyes, brought her hand to her cheek, looked at Eliza and blushed almost as red as her hair. “Is that better?”
Bianca pressed her lips to suppress her smile. Her expression is so cute, Eliza thought. The redhead looked a mixture of happy and surprise, but was doing her best to hide. “Stop teasing me,” she said, pushing Eliza into the water.
Eliza laughed and looked at the still blushing Bianca. But the next instant, her laugh gave room to surprise; even underwater, she could see perfectly. She looked around, trying to see everything from the new scenery.
“Wow… that was,” Eliza tried to find words when she came up to breath. “Amazing!”
“What?” Bianca was still red, but her embarrassment gave in to her curiosity as offered a hand to Eliza.
“I could see perfectly underwater. The scene was amazing.”
“Oh yeah…” Slowly Bianca’s curiosity became interest. “You’ve never tested your powers underwater.”
“But I didn’t use my powers. It was like everything was already in HD without using it.”
“Isn’t that usual? I mean, at night you have this sort of night vision and can see everything. Underwater wouldn’t be the same?”
“Now that you mentioned…” Eliza barely contained her amazement. How much thought has she given to my powers?
“Let’s see if you can use it underwater now.” Bianca grabbed Eliza’s shoulder and turned her around so she faced the open sea.
Eliza pushed the hair out of her face, took a deep breath and dived again. Even though it was hard to concentrate with her excitement, she did her best.
The blue waters darkened slightly, but everything was still visible as her sight went on. She saw fishes, plants, corals… and then something red appeared at the corner of her vision. Her powers wavered and her sight trembled, but she ignored Bianca and concentrated even more.
Suddenly she felt the redhead poking her. Without losing her focus, Eliza tried to push Bianca away. The girl went, but then she came back, nibbling at Eliza’s ear.
Everything happened at the same time. Her powers wavered, she lost control of it and she saw someone in a scuba suit. “Urgh! My eyes!” She lost her concentration completely, shut her eyes close, swallowed water and stood up.
“What’s wrong?” Eliza heard Bianca’s voice filled with mocking as she coughed. “What did see? An old man? Did you see his junk?”
“You knew he was there!” Eliza rubbed her eyes when her breathing was back to normal. But no matter what she did, she couldn’t unsee that. “Ah, damn it! I can still see it in my head!”
“That’s my payback for teasing me!” Bianca laughed and swam away.
Eliza went after her, but it was hard to catch up with her…
“Ah… I still can’t get the sand off my hair…” Eliza complained after she changed her clothes. Even with two extra showers to get the rest of the sand out, the girl was still finding bits of the beach on her hair. “Aren’t you ready yet?”
“Yeah, yeah. I’m ready. And I got sand too,” Bianca said as she entered the room. “And in some other places as well.” Bianca was on the front porch, swinging herself lazy on the hammock.
“I give up. You win. How could I even think of defeating you at something,” Eliza said, turning to Bianca. Then she stopped smiling. “You’re not going like that.”
“Eh? Why?” The girl’s seriousness took Bianca aback. She got out of the hammock, raised her arms and twirled around, the red flannel dress swaying after her. “What’s wrong with it? I look great… as usual, if I might add.”
“Yeah, I can’t deny that.” Eliza stood up, led Bianca to the makeup chair in her room, made the girl sit and began braiding the red hair. “But even you need to look right for St John… why are you smiling like that?”
Not only Bianca smiled, she also giggled. “It’s the first time you do my hair.”
“Shut up.” Eliza clicked her tongue and lightly tugged Bianca’s hair to hide her own smile. She drew a few black freckles with makeup. For last, she took the straw hat she bought and placed it on top of Bianca’s head. “Now even I have to admit you look great.”
“In pigtails and with these freckles?” Bianca raised her eyebrows and looked at Eliza through the mirror. “You like these holiday too much. I bet it’s the fireworks, am I right? Wait, are you one of those who liked to throw those annoying traque de massa at others?”
Eliza smiled as she looked away. “I can’t deny it wasn’t fun smacking that at someone’s forehead.”
“Oh god, I hate that. The gunpowder always got stuck in my hair. Ah, don’t you dare do that to me!”
“Oh, look, I can see the bonfire from here,” Eliza said and left the room, ignoring the redhead. “Let’s go.”
“Hey, you’re not answering me.” Bianca went after the girl, but Eliza never answered the question.
“It’s huge…” It was all that Eliza could say when she saw it up close.
The bonfire organized by the condominium was almost twice as tall as them, so bright everything around seemed darker, the flames so intense even from distance, they could feel its heat. They had also hired a band and the residents danced at the sound of the forró. The countless multicolored paper flags hanging around made everything look brighter and more fun.
“Live music, over the top decoration, a huge and awesome bonfire… as expected of rich people’s party,” Eliza said, smiling at Bianca’s discomfort.
“Oh, come on, don’t say that. This is normal, right?”
“Kinda… Grandpa used to make a bonfire too, though it wasn’t half as tall as this. I liked getting close to it to throw plastic cups at it. The smell was awful.” Bianca seemed without knowing what to say for a moment and then laughed. When someone lit a firework, Eliza suddenly remember. “Crap! Hey, did you get the—”
“You really were a tomboy as a kid… I wished I could’ve met you then. I bet I’d have fallen for you back then too,” Bianca interrupted Eliza and opened her bag. “Yes, I brought your fireworks. Here, you can play to your heart’s content.”
“You mean us.” Eliza took the bag and pulled Bianca with a huge smile.
Between plays, talks, and food, it took almost two hours to play with all the firework Eliza had bought. Though the people around them had brighter and more beautiful ones, they were one that caused most noise due to the fact that Eliza hadn’t skimped on the rockets. And thanks to being one of the loudest, they attracted too much attention. But I think it was more her than the fireworks, Eliza thought, not containing her smile.
“Aah. I bet they’re gonna complain tomorrow,” Bianca said, sitting down on a free chair next to the pool. “I still can’t believe you bought that many rockets…”
“It’s the best one! How could I not buy it?” Eliza sat next to the redhead and handed her the pamonha they had bought. Even after the snacks, she took a generous bite. “It’s been ages since I played like that.”
“You didn’t play with fireworks last year? You?”
“Yeah… after my Bruno got burned with a firework a couple of years ago, he kinda got a trauma. He endured New Year’s Eve, but St John was too much for him and most of the parties we went had no fireworks,” Eliza said, shaking her head.
“Hm…” Bianca mumbled and she focused on her food without a word.
Eliza realized her words and regretted mentioning her ex-boyfriend right away. Me and my big mouth…
As they finished the pamonha, the band, who had taken a little break, got back on stage and started playing again. Soon the couples gathered on the dance floor. Eliza watched Bianca as the redhead observed the couples.
“You wanna dance?” Eliza asked, surprising even herself.
“Huh?” Bianca’s bad mood vanished the next instant. “Dance? I can’t—”
“What? But you owe me a dance.”
“When? Why? Where? I don’t remember that,” Bianca spoke quickly, her cheeks a shade of red that had nothing to do with the heat.
“If you invite me for St John, that’s a given.” Eliza offered a hand. “Come on, I’ll teach you how to dance.”
“Dance in front of so many people…” Bianca glanced around. But when she looked at Eliza, she took the hand with a shy smile.
Eliza squeezed and enjoyed the touch of Bianca for a few moments before standing up. But before they left their table, a boy came to talk to them. “How about a dance?” he asked with a bright smile.
About time, Eliza thought, letting out a tired sigh. He was staring Bianca for so long I wondered if he had the courage to ask her. As the night went, many boys had come to talk with Bianca, asking for a dance and a few drunk ones had bluntly asked if they could hook up.
The interruptions were annoying, but she was somewhat used to it, given the redhead’s beauty. But when a girl had come to flirt with Bianca, Eliza held her breath and grew tense as she watched the girl compliment and giggle at anything the redhead said.
More than once Eliza thought of pulling Bianca away from the girl and say the redhead belonged to her. She entertained herself wondering how Bianca would react if she really did that. But to her relief, Bianca finally rejected the girl politely as she did with everyone else.
Come on, Red, let him down so we can dance, Eliza thought, waiting. To her surprise, Bianca smiled at the boy. Eh?
“Nando? Is that you? You changed so much,” Bianca said, hugging the boy.
“Thank god. I mean, I can’t always be that fourteen years old kid who you rejected.”
“You still on that? Let it go,” Bianca said, laughing. “I can’t believe I haven’t talked to you in ages. How’ve you been?”
“Busy like crazy. I’m studying and helping my dad with the store.”
“Just what you never wanted.”
The boy laughed and scratched his head. “Yeah… a lot changed… How about we catch up?”
Used to Bianca’s outright refusal to any flirting, Eliza pulled the redhead closer to her. “Sorry, but we’re going back now,” she said before she could stop herself.
Bianca widened her eyes and then smile. “Yeah, as she said. Give me a call sometime. My number still the same.”
“Okay, bye,” Nando said, not bothered at all by Eliza’s behavior. “I’ll call you.” He walked away and the girls were left alone.
As they headed back, Eliza made sure she didn’t look over her shoulder to see Bianca’s expression; even without seeing, she could tell the redhead was still smiling because of what she had done. Eliza couldn’t stop blushing and when Bianca entwined their fingers and squeezed Eliza’s hand gently, the girl’s heart pounded faster.
“I never knew you were so jealous,” Bianca said when they got back, not hiding how happy she was.
“I… I… ah…” Eliza flushed and stumbled with the words. “I’m gonna take a shower!”
But not even the cold shower could make Eliza’s heart go back to normal. Even her cheeks still felt hot. By the time she got back, Bianca had also taken a shower.
“The smell of smoke and gunpowder gonna take days to come off,” she complained as she smelled her hair. “What?” Bianca asked when she noticed Eliza staring her.
“Nothing. Is just that… Hey, listen. We can still hear the music from here.” Eliza offered her hand. “You still owe me a dance.”
Widening her eyes and with her face reddening, Bianca accepted the hand. Oh god, she looks too cute when embarrassed… oh god, she woke my sadistic side, Eliza realized as she tried to suppress her smile.
“Alright… now since I never led the dance, you’ll have to forgive me for any mistake,” she said, putting her right hand on Bianca’s waist. It feels weird leading the dance… But I can get used to this. “Put your left hand on my shoulder.”
“Like this?” Bianca placed her hand on Eliza’s shoulder.
“Not even close. Why are you so far? This isn’t waltz, it’s forró, and we need to be this close.”
Eliza pulled Bianca closer, their noses almost touching each other. The redhead’s face blushed to almost the same color as her hair. Pressing her lips to hide her smile, Eliza took two steps to the side. Bianca did the same with some delay.
“Good. Just do like I’m doing.”
In no time, Bianca kept up with Eliza. Even when Eliza moved her left leg forward, Bianca moved her right leg back, doing the right step without any instruction.
“Not bad. How about this?” Eliza raised her hand above Bianca’s head. But the redhead did the twirl almost perfectly. “Hey, you know forró!”
“With you teaching, it’s easy to learn.” Bianca smiled despite her short breath. “How about if I do this?” This time it was she who raised her hand above Eliza’s head.
Eliza expected that, but still tripped on her feet, bringing them down. If not for the hammock on the front porch, they would be on the ground. They looked at each other and then laughed.
“What kind of teacher are you tripping like that?”
“It’s not my fault,” Eliza said through laughs. “I told you it’s the first time I was leading. I forgot that.”
“That’s a lame excuse. You better learn the part right so we can dance even more.”
“Fine, fine. I promise I’ll learn so we can dance. To be honest, I’d like to see you dancing samba and frevo.” When the redhead winced, Eliza laughed again.
Bianca shifted so they could lie comfortably with their heads next to each other. “Look at that,” she said, pointing towards the sky. “There’s no way we’d see such clear sky in the city.”
The dark blue starry sky stretched until it met the dark sea, it’s water reflecting the moonlight. Part of the sky was a shade of purple, as if done with a brush with the half-moon on the background. The stars shone everywhere.
“It’s amazing,” Eliza said, her mouth hanging open.
“Yeah,” Bianca said, caressing the girl’s hand. “I always loved watching the sky here.”
Before she realized it, Eliza used her powers. The few clouds went away, the sky’s endless purple and blue going even further, the stars shining brighter than ever. The moon became bigger and bigger and the white light around it became more beautiful than ever.
“It’s something like out of a movie. A different sky from a different world,” Eliza said, her sight going farther and farther until the her limit. “I wished you could see it.”
“Me too,” Bianca whispered. “But I’m happy with just being by your side. I think I said that before, but it looks like you don’t believe me.”
Eliza lost her concentration as her cheek went a shade of pink. She blinked and glanced to the redhead. Bianca had her eyes closed and really did seem to enjoy just being by Eliza’s side. Her chest moved up and down slowly, and there was a soft smile on her lips.
Eliza’s heart pounded faster as she looked at those lips. I can’t believe she managed to restrain herself…“Hey, Bianca. There’s something on your lips.”
“What?” Her voice never sounded sweeter to Eliza. Bianca opened her eyes, but as she turned to her, the girl moved her head a bit and their lips met. The redhead widened her green eyes. It took a second, but Bianca kissed her back.
“What? Why? How?” Bianca blinked and tried to speak after they stopped kissing. Her face was redder than her hair.
Eliza chuckled. “I finally fall for your cheesy lines and that’s what you have to say?” She’s too damn cute!
Bianca pressed her lips, averted her eyes, but after a second, she turned back and kissed Eliza.
Eliza had no idea how much time they were on the hammock, but at some point the hinges broke and they fell on the ground.
“Ouch,” Eliza said, rubbing her back.
“Damn it! It rusted again… and we were in such good mood,” she complained.
“Or maybe it wasn’t meant to handle to people making out on the hammock.” They looked at each other and laughed at the same time as they stood up. “Come on, we can continue this inside,” Eliza said, offering a hand to Bianca.
“I had planned to say that,” the redhead complained, but took the hand without hesitation.